HOUSTON – The Pasadena and Greater Houston community is remembering the life of country music icon and local legend, Mickey Gilley.
Gilley, known as the “Original Urban Cowboy,” passed away at the age of 86.
His friends, loved ones, and the City of Pasadena is holding a memorial service Thursday at 6:30 p.m. to honor Gilley’s life and legacy.
Gilley’s decades-long career began here in Houston after he moved to the area from Louisiana. Gilley was known for his unique country style, genuine personality, and care for his fans.
“Room Full of Roses” was his first #1 hit.
However, Gilley captured national attention for opening the world-famous honky tonk “Gilley’s” in Pasadena. The club was prominently featured in the film Urban Cowboy, starring John Travolta and Debra Winger.
In 2008, Gilley sat down with KPRC 2 and expressed his gratitude for the film and Travolta.
”Well, there’s not a night that goes by that I don’t wake up and say, ‘Thanks John Travolta for keeping my career alive,’” Gilley said.
Gilley was known for his genuine care for his fans and would spend hours with them after his show.
”He said it was such a small gesture on his part,” said Gator Conley, Gilley’s friend. “He said, ‘As long as I’m able to do it. I’m going to, so if it means a lot to them, it means a lot to me.’“
Thursday, the Pasadena Convention Center was decorated with photos and memories of Gilley to honor a life well-lived.
“He really did everything he could to promote Pasadena, Texas, and [was an] urban cowboy until the day he died,” said Pasadena Mayor, Jeff Wagner.
KPRC 2′s Frank Billingsley will lead the service. Mayor Wagner, among other leaders, is also expected to speak as well.